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Chef Lee Anne Wong's loco moco is about as good as breakfast gets without actually being in Hawaii.

Longtime FR contributor Adeena Sussman has a new cookbook out, and when she launches a book, we go nuts. Cook your way through America’s Best Breakfasts and make sure you stop in Honolulu for this signature dish.

At her island-cool Honolulu restaurant, chef Lee Anne Wong is celebrating the cuisine of her adopted state with dishes that honor Hawaiian traditions — but with a twist. According to Wong, the first loco moco originated on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1949, gaining favor with locals as a rib-sticking, inexpensive staple. In Wong’s signature “Koko Moco,” a highly seasoned, grass-fed beef patty rests on a crunchy-crusted skillet of rice; her house-made, umami-rific mushroom gravy is a vegetarian wonder.

Cook’s Note: Wong’s recipe calls for several ingredients common in Asian kitchens and increasingly easy to find. Maggi Seasoning is a dark, salty, deeply flavorful liquid proudly bolstered with MSG and prized for its massive umami punch. If you can’t find it, use liquid Kitchen Bouquet instead. Togarashi is a catchall Japanese term for all kinds of dried hot peppers. It comes pure, or in a blend with other ingredients often referred to as nanami or schichimi togarashi.

Reprinted with permission from America’s Best Breakfasts